5 September 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Spike Island has hosted its inaugural Spike Island Literary Festival which took place from Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September. Dedicated to the popular theme of crime writing, the festival had a unique island location with a dark history of four prisons over 400 years – the perfect setting for inspiring writers.
Led by the Spike Island Literary Festival committee – Cobh author Michelle Dunne, Island Manager John Crotty and Dorota Gubbins, the island’s museum curator – the festival featured several acclaimed local and national writers and provided a unique event within the grounds of an ancient fortress and prison.
The programme of events featured a stellar line-up of renowned authors such as Alex Barclay, Liz Nugent, Mark Billingham, John Connolly, Tadgh Coakley, Conal Creedon, Amy Cronin, Catherine Kirwin, Michelle Dunne and Andrea Mara.
Two of Ireland’s foremost thriller writers – Alex Barclay and Liz Nugent – were be interviewed by broadcaster PJ Coogan. On Saturday 3rd September renowned author Philip Davison led an insightful screenwriting workshop detailing the challenges and incredible rewards of writing for the screen. That was followed by a rare opportunity to meet face to face with one of Ireland’s most renowned publishing houses, Liberties Press and later that evening, there was be an author-led conversation with renowned writers John Connolly and Mark Billingham.
Sunday 4th September saw an intimate crime writing workshop with author Kevin Doyle before the festival came to a close with bestselling Cork authors Michelle Dunne and Andrea Mara being interviewed.